Monthly Archives: October 2014

Another properly Halloween-themed Pick, and a callback to one of the great classics of gaming, to boot.

Domains of Dread is the core rulebook for the second edition of the award-winning RAVENLOFT campaign setting – the original fantasy horror role-playing game. Within the pages of this book, players and Dungeon Masters will discover the darkest secrets of the Land of the Mists, including many never-before-seen features:

– Detailed guidelines on designing anything from short-term horror adventures to long-running campaigns of twisted terror.
– Complete rules for generating player characters native to the Demiplane of Dread.
– Four new character classes specifically for us in RAVENLOFT campaigns – the avenger, the anchorite, the gypsy, and the arcanist!
– All new-player character race – the half-Vistani!
– Updated and expanded descriptions of the Demiplane and the foul lords who rule its tortured domains!
– Revised fear, horror, and madness checks to enhance the horror.
– New rules for power checks, plus thirteen detailed steps that lead from grace to absolute corruption!

In the “In Case You Missed This” Category comes a fairly major release based on the simplest FATE iteration, and one that has some rather intriguing premises (and the capacity for the players to build the world as they experience it). It came to the forefront of attention thanks to recently being made available in print.

The Inverse World – so named by outsiders, who came from beyond the world’s crust. Inside, they found a massive, windy void, with a glowing star shining in the center. A ring of islands orbits this star, and far above lies a ceiling of stone. The Inverse World is on the inside of a planet, and could even be inside of an already existing campaign world, if you dig deep enough.

The locals call it a different name, however: Invells. Invells is a mystical place, where an imprisoned god casts light and rain up to the top of the world, and then it all drains back down to the center. The great god Sola is trapped in the center of Invells, a massive burning star that created the light and rain from which all life in Invells was formed. Well, most life.

Invells is a bizarre world, filled with all manner of flying fish, strange monsters, wondrous machinery, and Sola’s children, the three spirit-blessed races. Airships, great chains, and winged angels bridge the open gaps between the floating islands. Shanty towns of wood and iron cling to the top of the world. Great cities of light and gold are hidden within the sea of clouds surrounding Sola’s cage, a molten sea of gold with a god trapped inside. There is much to see, and all of it is just out of reach.

One of the main reasons I started doing GM Picks in addition to regular Picks is because I love giving focus to the many specialized products that are oriented specifically towards making a Game Master’s life easier. The Bits of Darkness products, by Tabletop Adventures, are designed to give details and depth to any description you might ever need. Use them as needed, or for inspiration as you craft adventures. They’re especially useful for all the spooky and creepy games you might want to run this season, and they’re all on sale at 15% off.

There’s no denying alt-history with a steamy feel is very much still in vogue, and Cubicle 7’s Victoriana is still considered one of the best treatments of the theme in gaming. The Concert in Flames is both a complete guide to Europe for the setting, as well as a five-part adventure that takes characters through the whole of the region.

This 160-page book contains:

  • A gazetteer of Victoriana Europe, detailing the government, society and key locations of each kingdom and empire, and providing plot hooks aplenty.
  • Guidance for creating European characters.
  • Notes on the pantheons of Europe, from the Nordic Norns to the Slavic Archon Chernobog.
  • New spells and equipment, from the firearms of the German confederacy to the crystal blades of Andorra.
  • New monsters and creatures, such as the Ciarpans that live beneath Venice or the Russian Wyverns that dwell in the Ural Mountains.
  • Four new sapients to play, from Giants to Harpies.
  • A multi-part adventure set across the length and breadth of Europe.

Ken Writes About Stuff is a subscription you can get to receive a continuous bounty of material crafted by the inestimable Kenneth Hite. This one – properly Halloween flavored – puts you into a GUMSHOE campaign set in Elizabethan England, defending the Green and Pleasant Land from twisted horrors while trying to avoid the headsman’s axe for blasphemy.

“Black is the badge of Hell; the hue of dungeons and the School of Night.” Queen Elizabeth’s realm lies vulnerable, not just to the Spanish or the plague, but to occult forces perhaps more dangerous than either. You study those forces at the risk of torture — at the risk of your soul — but you must hold them at bay or see England destroyed. This GUMSHOE campaign frame sets the PCs on the stage with John Dee, Christopher Marlowe, and Sir Walter Raleigh … and perhaps with traitors in their ranks.

Castles and Crusades GMs will definitely want this foundation product in it’s most updated form.

First, what it is –

Contained within this book is a wealth of information for the Castle Keeper: 205 monsters, advice on roleplaying monsters, handling combat with monsters, creating monsters, 200 unique treasures, rules for awarding treasures and creating magic items.

What’s been done?

4th Printing! This incarnation of the C&C Monsters & Treasure debuts a new look, with more interior art, expanded index and some rules clarifications.

Some are closing in on done, including a really amazing one from my friends at Pinnacle.

The Last Parsec – Savage Worlds

Pinnacle’s “starbox” setting of sci-fi adventure is in its last week, and you are looking at getting a lot of amazing stuff for a great price if you get in right now.

 

The Vampire’s Codex RPG

An attempt to bridge from an immersive RPG community into film-making –

Worldspinner: Fantasy RPG Worldbuilder & Map Maker

Worldspinner is the online worldbuilding tool that gamers and authors have been waiting for.  It will give your world a solid foundation upon which your own imagination has limitless room to expand.” – Philip Athans, best-selling author of Annihilation and The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction

Apocalypse Prevention, Inc. 2nd Ed (DGS and Savage Worlds)

My friend Eloy Lasanta might arguably be one of the hardest working people in the tabletop RPG business, as this latest KS for his popular Apocalypse Prevention property clearly indicates. Another example of the best getting better.

Chill 3rd Edition: A Horror Roleplaying Game

One of the greatest and most charming horror games ever published, making a comeback at the hands of the excellent Matt McFarland.

Radiotopia: A Storytelling Revolution

Not an RPG project, but certainly something worthy of our attention. After all, much of who we are comes from the incredible days of storytelling on the radio…